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Hollis twins captured in N.J.

January 04, 2001

Hollis twins captured in N.J.



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


CAMDEN, N.J. - A man who escaped from custody last month after assaulting a Washington County Sheriff's deputy was found Wednesday hiding in the attic of his parents' New Jersey home, according to the Camden (N.J) Sheriff's Department.

Kenon Malik Hollis, 19, fled after kicking, punching and pepper spraying Deputy 1st Class Annette Sprecher on Dec. 5 as she was taking him to a holding cell at the Washington County Courthouse in downtown Hagerstown.

On the day of the escape, Hollis had gone to Washington County Circuit Court for a suppression hearing on a drug charge.

While there, he was served with a warrant charging him with a Nov. 27 armed robbery.

His twin brother, John Hasson Hollis, 19, who was found with him in the attic Wednesday, also was charged in that robbery.

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The brothers resisted arrest while being apprehended Wednesday at their parents' home in the 900 block of Chelton Avenue in Camden, Sgt. Mike Barone of the Special Invention Unit for the Camden Sheriff's Department alleged.

Members of a fugitive task force made up of members of the FBI, Camden County Sheriff's Department, and Camden City police officers found the brothers.

Their parents' address was provided by Hagerstown City Police Detective Wayne Shank, who investigated the case locally.

Barone was one of two officers who wrestled Kenon Hollis to the ground.

It wasn't easy, because Kenon Hollis "really didn't want to be taken into custody," Barone said.

The men's parents were not home when the arrests were made and do not face charges, he said.

Police were unsure how Kenon and John Hollis got to New Jersey and how long they had been at their parents' house, he said.

"We know they had help. Someone drove them up there," said Hagerstown City Police Sgt. Curtis Wood.

FBI agents went to the home around 1 p.m. Wednesday not expecting the brothers to be there, Barone said.

"They were basically going there to eliminate the address" and pursue other leads, according to Barone.

An agent who knocked on the front door noticed a curtain being drawn back and a man he recognized as Kenon Hollis peering out, Barone said.

Barone said Camden authorities were aware of Kenon Hollis' violent past and called for backup.

Ten officers later entered the home through the front door and searched the first and second stories with no success, he said.

They went on to search the attic and found the brothers hiding behind a large chimney, Barone said.

"Once they were discovered they broke through a window, jumped onto a porch and then to the ground," Barone said.

The two men were tackled and taken into custody, according to Barone, who said the men cut themselves on glass from the smashed attic window.

"They weren't going to give up easily. They were doing everything they could to get away," he said.

The Hollis brothers were treated at a hospital and released before being taken to Camden County Jail, he said.

Both were being held without bond.

Kenon Hollis waived extradition and will be returned to Washington County to face charges, police said. John Hollis also was expected to waive extradition, police said.

The brothers were each charged in warrants with armed robbery, robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, theft over $500, use of a handgun in commission of a felony and reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from a Nov. 27 holdup of a man in the first block of Mulberry Street in which cash and a jacket were taken, police said. John Hollis was armed with a handgun, police alleged.

After Kenon Hollis was served the warrant on Dec. 5, he was taken to a holding cell on the third floor.

While Sprecher was taking Hollis from the holding cell to the courtroom, Washington County Assistant States Attorney Joe Michael called another case, so Sprecher turned to take Hollis back to the holding cell.

Sprecher was putting Hollis into the holding cell when he ran, and made it past the elevator a second holding cell, around two corners and into the hallway before she caught up with him.

As she tried to return him to the holding cell, a struggle ensued.

Sprecher was thrown against the elevator and when the doors opened the struggle continued in the elevator as it descended to the first floor.

She was punched in the face, bitten on the fingers, pepper sprayed with her own pepper spray and her head was banged against the elevator floor.

Sprecher was briefly hospitalized for injuries sustained in the struggle and is recuperating, said Lt. Robert Hafer, of the Washington County Sheriff's Department, who is judicial commander at the courthouse.

She has not returned for work and he doesn't know when she will, he said

Following Kenon Hollis' escape from the courthouse, local authorities scoured the downtown and questioned friends, family members and acquaintances.

They eventually concluded the brothers had fled to Camden.

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